The Breakdown of Facebook’s New Zoom Alternative, Messenger Rooms

messenger rooms

Facebook recently released a new video chat product, known as Facebook Messenger Rooms, that is available on mobile and desktop. Designed to compete with Zoom, Facebook’s alternative allows up to 50 people to join one video call. Video calls are completely free, have no time limit, and are used through the Facebook or Messenger apps.

Users can create a room right from Facebook or Messenger, and invite anyone to join whether they have Facebook or not. Meetings can be created on the Facebook News Feed, Groups and / or Events, so it’s easy for people to drop by. If you are invited to a room, you can join from your phone or computer, without having to worry about downloading, logging in, or connecting to Messenger to join the call. Participants that do use the messenger app to participant in video calls, will have access to AR effects and AI-powered features like 360 backgrounds and mood lighting.

The creator of the room chooses the settings for who can see and join the call as well as when the call starts and ends. The creator also has access to remove any unwanted participants and to lock a room to prevent any eavesdroppers. If at any point anyone feels uncomfortable, they can leave the room whether it’s locked or not. If users feel a room is violating Facebook’s Community Standards, they can report it. However, Facebook does not listen to or watch any of the rooms, so keep this in mind when reporting anything. If users have someone blocked on Facebook they will be unable to join any room they are in and vice versa.

When creating a room the creator can set parameters for the function of the room, such as “Happy Hour”, “Game Night”, “Coffee Chat”, and many more choices. The creator will have the option to choose which friends have access to the room and who they share the meeting link with. Once users choose who is invited, invitees will receive a personal invite in their messenger app or a private link to access the room. Room creators will also have the option to make their rooms public to their entire Facebook network. If they choose this route, the meeting room will show up at the top of their entire networks News Feed. This is definitely something you don’t want to do accidentally, so beware! If call participants are not friends with everyone in the room, they will be able to hear and see everything said and shared, but they will not gain any additional access to users’ Facebook profiles. Users who access video calls outside of Facebook will be asked to provide a name for participants to be able to identify them during the video call.

As far as security concerns, video chats are currently not end-to-end encrypted. But, Facebook’s security team did everything they could to make room links difficult for hackers to guess by adding different characters and numbers to every link.

When it comes to data collection and ads, Facebook will still collect data such as browse and device type from rooms whether participants joined via Facebook or not. The purpose of Facebook collecting this data is to improve user experience. Facebook will not show ads in rooms.

So how can users benefit from Facebook’s new Messenger Rooms?

Facebook’s Messenger Rooms are the perfect solution for wanting an easy-way to stay connected with friends, family, and even business associates. Whether you are checking-in on your fitness team for the week, or having a family game night, Facebook’s new video chat solution keeps virtual communication simple, secure, and enjoyable!

Contact Social Connection Marketing to help your business start incorporating Messenger Rooms into its strategy.

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